PRODUCT MAY HAVE BEEN DISCONTINUED
Purina Fit and Trim Dog Food receives the Advisor’s lowest rating of one star.
Although Purina Fit and Trim appears to be an adult dog food, we found no AAFCO nutritional adequacy statements for this product on the Purina website.
Purina Fit and Trim
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Whole grain corn, meat and bone meal, whole grain wheat, soybean meal, corn gluten meal, corn germ meal, soybean germ meal, chicken, egg and chicken flavor, animal digest, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), turkey by-product meal, salt, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, L-Lysine monohydrochloride, added color (Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 2), choline chloride, zinc sulfate, Vitamin E supplement, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, niacin, Vitamin A supplement, copper sulfate, calcium pantothenate, garlic oil, pyridoxine hydrochloride, Vitamin B-12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, Vitamin D-3 supplement, riboflavin supplement, calcium iodate, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), folic acid, biotin, sodium selenite
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.7%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||28%||8%||56%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||28%||19%||54%|
The first item in this dog food lists corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
For this reason, we do not consider corn a preferred component in any dog food.
The second ingredient is meat and bone meal, a dry “rendered product from mammal tissues, including bone, exclusive of blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents”.1
Meat and bone meal can have a lower digestibility than most other meat meals.
Scientists believe this decreased absorption may be due to the ingredient’s higher ash and lower essential amino acid content.2
What’s worse, this particular item is anonymous. It doesn’t even specify the source animal.
Even though meat and bone meals are still considered protein-rich meat concentrates, we do not consider a generic ingredient like this a quality item.
The third ingredient is wheat. Wheat is nutritionally similar to and subject to the same limitations as corn (previously discussed).
The fourth ingredient is soybean meal. Soybean meal is relatively useful by-product — what remains of soybeans after all the oil has been removed.
Although soybean meal contains 48% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.
And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The fifth item is corn gluten meal. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.
Compared to meat, glutens are inferior grain-based proteins lower in many of the essential amino acids dogs need for life.
This inexpensive plant-based ingredient can significantly boost the total protein content reported in this dog food.
The sixth item is corn germ meal, a meal made from ground corn germ after much of the oil has been removed. Corn germ meal is a protein-rich by-product left over after milling corn meal, hominy grits and other corn products.
The seventh ingredient is soybean germ meal. We are unable to locate a detailed description of this particular item, an item that appears to be unique to Purina products.
The eighth ingredient is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.
After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.
After the egg and chicken flavor, we find animal digest. Animal digest is a chemically hydrolyzed concoction of unspecified body parts from unspecified animals. This product is usually sprayed onto the surface of a dry kibble to improve its taste.
Next, we find animal fat. Animal fat is a generic by-product of rendering, the same high-temperature process used to make meat meals.
Since there’s no mention of a specific animal, this item could come from almost anywhere: roadkill, spoiled supermarket meat, dead, diseased or dying cattle — even euthanized livestock.
For this reason, we do not consider generic animal fat a quality ingredient.
From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.
But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to have much of an effect on the overall rating of this product.
With five notable exceptions…
First, we’re always disappointed to find artificial coloring in any dog food.
Coloring is used to make the product more appealing to you… not your dog. After all, do you really think your dog cares what color his food is?
Next, garlic oil may be a controversial item. We say “may be” here because we are not certain of the oil’s chemical relationship to raw garlic itself.
Although most experts favor the ingredient for its numerous health benefits, garlic (in rare cases) has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs.3
However, the limited professional literature we surveyed provided no definitive warnings regarding the use of garlic — especially used in small amounts (as it likely is here).
Thirdly, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing.
Next, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.
And lastly, Purina Fit and Trim Dog Food also contains menadione, a controversial form of vitamin K linked to liver toxicity, allergies and the abnormal break-down of red blood cells.
Purina Fit and Trim Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Purina Fit and Trim appears to be a below-average dog food.
But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.
Average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the corn gluten and soybean meals, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing only a limited amount of meat.
Purina Fit and Trim is primarily a grain-based kibble using a limited amount of meat and bone meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 1 star.
Those looking for a better kibble from the same company may wish to visit our review of Purina Pro Plan Selects dry dog food.
Important FDA Alert
The FDA has announced it is investigating a potential connection between grain-free diets and a type of canine heart disease known as dilated cardiomyopathy. Click here for details.
A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
12/23/2009 Original review
07/23/2010 Review updated
01/10/2012 Review updated
07/12/2013 Review updated
07/12/2013 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition ↩
- Shirley RB and Parsons CM, Effect of Ash Content on Protein Quality of Meat and Bone Meal, Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Poultry Science, 2001 80: 626-632 ↩
- Yamato et al, Heinz Body hemolytic anemia with eccentrocytosis from ingestion of Chinese chive (Allium tuberosum) and garlic (Allium sativum) in a dog, Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 41:68-73 (2005) ↩